I had to write a wee piece on ten albums out next year for work. But I wrote too much. So below is what I wrote. Pasting it here as it's the kind of thing I'd have penned for DiS back when. Seems right.
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Chances are that 2010 will see a lot of albums released, some of which you – yes, you, reading this right this minute – might even buy. Or steal from a file-sharing site. Whatever floats that yacht you can afford after saving all that money you’d otherwise have spent on Amazon.
Here are ten worth keeping an ear out for. Some of them might even be decent.
Vampire Weekend – Contra
You might have heard album opener Horchata already – it was made available as a free download early in October, and enjoyed plenty of plays on 6 Music. The track’s not an enormous progression from its makers’ debut of two years ago, effectively echoing Paul Simon again; but there are a few seconds that stir memories of Owen Paul’s 1986 hit My Favourite Waste of Time. Not a bad thing. Another new song, played live at XL’s annual drinks-and-nibbles showcase afternoon back in the summer, was reminiscent of Animal Collective’s wobbly polyrhythms and showcased a new percussive confidence. Could be a little charmer, this.
Big Boi – Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
Due: Early 2010
With a new Outkast album unlikely to emerge in 2010, fans of the Atlanta rap duo should turn to the solo debut from one half of the Stankonia dream team. Everything that’s made its way online, via multiple blogs and subsequent YouTube streams, is of a quality comparable to Big Boi’s side of the pair’s 2003 double-disc delight Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. In other words there’s less of the loved-up André 3000 ballads, more dirty beats to shake one’s behind. Expect plenty of guest spots, including turns from Wu-Clan’s Raekwon and Gucci Mane, but don’t be surprised if Left Foot is every bit as singularly leftfield as its absurd title implies.
Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Pt. I
Due: Early 2010
This was meant to have been released back in September, but Adam Yauch’s treatment for cancer has delayed the Beasties’ eighth studio album – right now there’s no firm date. “I’ve been in the game since before you were born,” confesses the man himself on lead single Too Many Rappers, but Hot Sauce bounces with a freshness that will surprise those expecting a rap album from three men in their 40s to be a staid, rather clinical affair. Having had a listen to the whole thing, at ear-stinging volume, I can say with confidence that Hot Sauce will slot easily onto any fan’s shelf between Check Your Head and Ill Communication – it’s reminiscent of the Beasties’ early 90s highs, and the presence of guest vocalist Nas only heightens the buzz of nostalgia.
Dr Dre – Detox
Detox has been on release schedules since 2004. If a firm date is announced in 2010 the entire music industry might well collapse under the weight of such massive expectation.
Eminem – Relapse 2
Due: Early 2010
Though listed in some places as due in November of this year, the radio silence surrounding this album suggests the release of Relapse 2 is some months away yet. Eminem has dismissed Relapse (volume one) as just a rap record, claiming its sequel will be a more emotional affair. Be that as it may, if it’s a bundle of banal tirades set to basic beats and pieces it’ll be several stars better than its predecessor, a collection of tracks so abhorrently average that anyone attempting to buy a copy in HMV should be spat at. Nobody needs that during these swine flu days. I mean, a “horror corridor”? Chill out, Rob Zombie.
Amy Winehouse – Title TBA
Assuming she can reach the necessary studio equipment from behind her recently acquired bosoms, this album, as and when it’s finished, is sure to be the biggest release of its kind in 2010. Which means Adele and Duffy should probably quit while they’re ahead and invest what’s left in antibacterial hand cleanser.
Roxy Music – Title TBA
Eno’s on board, for the first time since 1973’s For Your Pleasure. The results could be huge. Or they could be every bit as brilliant as the ‘new’ Spandau Ballet album. Picking at someone else’s verucas is more fun than hearing how they’ve updated Gold. Seriously.
Devo – Fresh
Initially intended as a 2009 release, Devo’s first studio album since 1990’s Smooth Noodle Maps has been shunted back (at least) a year after it became apparent that extensive remixing was required. That might not exactly bode well, but this is Devo we’re talking about, so there’s bound to be something worth picking Fresh up for, and the tracks released so far are strong indeed: Work It Out accompanied a Dell ad a couple of years back, and Don’t Shoot (I’m a Man) is similarly snappy. Don’t be surprised if the rock world is overrun by men with buckets on their heads come the autumn.
Radiohead – Title TBA
The band’s Ed O’Brien has confirmed that Radiohead will be recording this winter. If they get their act together a release before the Mercury Prize cut-off, in July, could see the Oxford five-piece finally win what should have been theirs twice already. Actually, I’ve already got my money on Wild Beasts for next year’s Mercury, so scratch that. Best wait ‘til September for this one, or I’m out of pocket.
Late of the Pier – Blueberry Pie
The young Castle Donington four-piece’s debut album, Fantasy Black Channel, was one of the most vibrantly visceral releases of 2008, a scattershot assembly of retro synth sweeps, post-punk guitar attacks and bizarre lyrical journeys into the imaginations of men who should, probably, lay off the mind-expanding stuff a little. How it missed the Mercury shortlist is completely beyond me. Its follow-up will hopefully blow their peers away, leaving a smoking crater where Friendly Fires once danced and placing a comedy fake turd on the doorstep of Foals’ place, assuming their second LP ever sees the light of day.